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Sexual violence report will be crucial in establishing the nature and extent of sexual violence

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) today welcomed the news that Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan will bring a proposal to Cabinet in the next two weeks on a second national study on sexual violence.

Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI said,

“A second SAVI report is long overdue, and NWCI welcomes the commitment to a vitally important national survey on sexual violence. Data collection and analysis around domestic and sexual violence is at crisis point in Ireland. The fact that we don't know the extent and depth of the problem is a massive barrier to ending violence against women and holding perpetrators to account.”

Orla O’Connor said,

“The world has changed a lot since the last national survey on sexual violence was published in 2002. Men are increasingly using technology to control, intimidate and abuse women, with online harassment and abuse of women becoming more prevalent. This report will be crucial in establishing the nature and extent of sexual violence in Ireland. If we are to protect women from sexual violence, and punish perpetrators accordingly, we must ensure that the appropriate data underpins our sexual violence policies.”

Orla O’Connor concluded,

“We are currently relying on EU surveys, and on data, surveys and case studies from under resourced frontline support services and non-governmental organisations to provide the picture of domestic and sexual abuse. This is not acceptable or sustainable. The Minister for Justice must outline a specific timeline for the study, and it is crucial that its scope includes the nature and extent of intimate partner sexual violence.”

“To reduce sexual violence against women, we first need to understand the scale of the problem. Reliable and comparable statistics will help us to assess the effectiveness of policy measures and services in place, and to estimate the resources needed to tackle the issue, as well as tracking our progress over time. This report will be an important step in a wider process of bring Ireland up to date with the gold standard of data collection and analysis required by the Istanbul Convention.”

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